Boeing Corp Sent One Ancient Fire Truck To Stomp Out Woolsey Ignition – It Broke Down
Written by 991KBU on November 12, 2019
The Los Angeles Times reports today that response to the early stages of the Woolsey Fire was significantly delayed …. because the Boeing Corporation has a fire truck that is ancient and blew out its radiator.
That caused a 20 minute delay in the arrival of the first fire truck to the flames … which intensified into a force that could not be stopped until a week later.
Boeing owns the Santa Susana Field Lab … more than 2 thousand acres of mountains near Simi Valley where its corporate predecessors used to conduct rocket tests.
Boeing has its own fire station … or at least it used to before Boeing bought out Rocketdyne … which used to have a fire station up there,
Under Boeing ownership … the old Rocketdyne fire company has been downsized … despite the continued risk of power line fires on the massive research station.
The LA Times reports that as the fire broke out … Boeing’s older-model truck puttered to a stop with a busted radiator.
This was one in a series of mishaps and things that went wrong in the early battle against what would become the most destructive fire in Los Angeles County history … the L A Times reports.
Boeing has government contracts … it is responsible to fight fires on its land … but the company only sent four firefighters and security guards …
And their truck broke down.
Ventura County … where the fire broke out … was dealing with a big brushfire in Newbury Park and did not send significant resources.
The Los Angeles County Fire Department help the majority of its firefighters over in Agoura Hills, waiting for the fire to reach their jurisdiction.
L A City was also in the mix .. and they concentrated on protecting the West Hills of the San Fernando Valley.
As Woolsey blossomed into the monster that would eat Malibu … firefighters were hampered by the lack of a clear plan from incident leaders and a need for more firefighters on the front lines in Ventura County.
Local fire leaders’ pleas to nearby agencies for more mutual aid help were no answered.
Boeing has refused to cooperate in the official investigations … because of pending lawsuits .. the L A Times reports.
A Boeing spokeswoman said in a statement that the company had security and fire personnel stationed at its Santa Susana site …
But a firefighter who responded to the Woolsey fire told The Times he did not recall working with any Boeing firefighters to combat the actual blaze.
As part of the site’s cleanup, the facility’s large fire station was recently demolished.
The once-robust Boeing Santa Susana fire crew used to train regularly, and occasionally would taek over a nearby Ventura County fire station when that crew was on assignment.
Although Boeing has ended research at Santa Susana … the site still has people and electrical lines … two of the most frequent causes of fires.
This editorial note.
Like thousands of Malibu-area people and companies … KBUU’s parent company has sued Boeing and Southern California Edison for damages that the fire caused.
Links to LA Times investigations: